Retail Industry Jobs Description and Types

Retail Jobs description, requirements and duties
Retail jobs are incredibly popular right now, and you don’t always need qualifications to get a foot in the door.

Retail Industry Jobs Description and Types

The retail industry in South Africa has grown considerably over the past few years. The Retail industry grew by an annual average of 3 percent in the past eight years. South Africa has seen a boom in shopping center development. Townships have also benefited from this.

Retail jobs are incredibly popular right now. You don’t always need qualifications to get a foot in the door. There are also great opportunities for growth, training, and development. A lot of retail job opportunities are available in the industry, such as:

  • Cashier jobs.
  • Customer service jobs.
  • Sales Assistant.
  • Store Management jobs.
  • Buyer.
  • Inventory Controller.
  • Merchandiser.

Depending on your interests, personality, qualifications, experience, and skills there is a huge selection of retail jobs to choose from.

Let us take a look at some of the retail industry jobs available in South Africa.

Customer service / Sales Assistants / Cashier clerk

Customer service assistants are hired by a variety of retail stores from fashion, technology, home appliances, and accessories to supermarkets and even wholesalers. It’s up to the customer service/sales assistant to make sure the customer has a great experience and leaves with a good impression. One of your main duties will be to ensure return business and also referrals, therefore, increasing sales. As these are normally entry-level jobs, you would not need a lot of experience or qualifications. Most companies also provide on the job training for the right candidate.

Your daily routine will vary depending on where you work and you could do anything from:

  • Arranging shop displays.
  • Taking part in customer promotions and events.
  • Dealing with customers.
  • Finalising sales
  • Handling cash transactions.

There is always room for growth in the Retail Industry and customer service assistants can go on to become a supervisor or manager

If you’re after set hours in an office environment, Monday to Friday, then a customer service assistant job may not be for you. Most retail stores are open and are busier over weekends, public holidays, and even evenings. The plus side to that is there are often part-time and flexible job options available and so, therefore, you can fit it easily into whatever else you have going on in your life.

Personality is what really counts in this job and businesses are looking for calm, well presented, friendly people who show common sense. However, a good basic education will give you an advantage when applying for jobs. If you really want your CV to stand out from the rest you may want to consider doing a tertiary qualification in Customer Service or similar.

There is always room for growth in the Retail Industry and customer service assistants can go on to become a supervisor or manager and the skills you learn in this job can be used to get jobs in other industries.

Find cashier jobs at

Assistant Retail Managers

As a retail assistant manager, you would start by assisting a manager or area manager in running a store  and you could soon end up running your own store or even an entire area, covering a group of retail outlets.

Whether you want to work in a large national retail store environment or a small to medium-sized privately owned store, your role as the assistant manager will always be the same. Your responsibilities would be to:

  • Provide the manager with support in the day to day running of the store.
  • Cover for them when they aren’t there
  • Assist with meeting the store’s monthly targets.
  • Handle budgets.
  • Recruitment selection.
  • Training staff.
  • Deal with any inquiries and complaints.
  • Monitor customer service.
  • Manage and support other staff.

This job has a lot of variety and plenty of responsibility. If you have a good team behind you then it can also be a lot of fun working together.

As with most retail jobs, this is not a 9-5 job so if you dream of set hours then this may not be for you, however, shift work more flexible, and with more responsibility comes to a higher pay grade and also options of commission and perhaps even share options and so on.

Retail Manager

Being a retail store manager you will be part of a busy, dynamic environment that changes every day. Your list of duties will be varied, ranging from:

  • Ensuring high levels of customer service.
  • Reviewing security issues.
  • Reaching sales targets.
  • Increasing profits.
  • Dealing with customer issues and complaints.
  • Interviewing and recruiting new staff members.
  • Mentoring, managing, and motivating staff.
  • Responsible for stock control
  • Receiving orders.

Although in this role experience and personality count most but to a tertiary qualification in management or similar will give you a competitive edge. You will also need a lot of stamina, plenty of motivation, excellent customer service, and people skills, and strong communication skills.


As a Merchandiser you are the person responsible for the store’s stock and how the stock is displayed. You will be working on the shop floor and report to the floor manager. The responsibilities and duties of being a Merchandiser are:

  • To maintain stock by restocking shelves with products from inventory.
  • Observing inventory levels.
  • Observing expired or sell-by dates of shelved products.
  • Prompting store management to reorder when levels appear low.
  • Arranging products for return and credit for damaged products.

What sort of money can I earn in retail?

Salaries vary depending on the size of the company you work for but those new to the world of Retail may find these positions as a foot in the door and there is room for growth for people who show initiative, hard work, and a passion for retail. These positions are also flexible and you may have the option of working weekend or evening shifts, allowing you to be flexible enough to make room for other activities in your off time, such as studies or a second job perhaps?

Have a look at our current job vacancies for any Retail Jobs that may be available right now! If this article was useful and you have friends or family that may find this information useful, then please share it with them. Good luck and we wish you all the best in your venture into the world of retail! is a free online recruitment site for employers to post job vacancies and for job seekers to find the all the current job vacancies in South Africa. Have a look through all our current employment opportunities in South Africa to see if there are jobs that you would like to apply for. Remember that companies do post new jobs every day, so set up job alerts to be notified of any current job vacancies in South Africa.

If you are a recruiter or a company looking to fill a position, you may post jobs for free on our free online job posting site.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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